Pennsylvania horse owners make record gift to Foundation for the Horse 

Contribution will help at-risk horses and empower additional equine support programs

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) in Lexington, Kentucky, announced on Sept. 20 that the Foundation for the Horse has received a $1 million gift from Pennsylvania horse owners and equine enthusiasts Robert “Bob” and Toni Mallet. 

Image from AAEP website

This is the largest single gift in the 29-year history of the Foundation, which is the AAEP’s charitable arm and a leading nonprofit advancing equine health and welfare. The Mallets’ generosity will allow the Foundation to expand its direct care of domestic horses in need and establish new grant opportunities for many years to come.  

“Unfortunately, some horses need to be rescued, and my wife and I feel strongly about the abuse and neglect of these magnificent animals,” said Bob Mallet. “Therapeutic riding gives older horses a second career, and they seem to enjoy their work. These horses need veterinary care, which, in some cases, the center cannot afford.

“Our hope is this fund will inspire others to support horse-related or animal charities of their choice.”

Contribution as cornerstone

Bob, a retired businessman, and his wife Toni, both longtime equestrians, live on a second-generation horse farm. The couple share a passion to help horses in need and worked with their longtime equine veterinarian and AAEP member Dr. Jim Zeliff of Allegheny Equine to connect with the Foundation for the Horse to develop this new opportunity.

The Mallets’ remarkable contribution to the Foundation will serve as the cornerstone for an array of transformative grants and pioneering initiatives, all dedicated to ensuring the well-being of many cherished equine companions.

Through the Foundation for the Horse, these funds will empower programs designed to provide essential care for horses in need within the U.S. 

Four grant opportunities

Starting in the late spring of 2024, a series of four annual grant opportunities will come to fruition, each focused on a specific facet of equine support:

  • The Equine Support Grant, aimed at nonprofit facilities, will offer solace and attention to these magnificent animals.
  • The Equine Rescue Response Grant will extend a helping hand to equines caught in the midst of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or seizure incidents.
  • The Equine Vet Care Grant will ensure that life-saving medical attention is within reach for equines housed in nonprofit facilities. 
  • The Equine Intake Care Grant will increase the chances of successful adoption for equines entering nonprofit facilities by supporting advanced veterinary care to overcome non-life-threatening health challenges. 

The Mallets’ commitment to this cause will leave an indelible mark on equine welfare, underscoring the profound impact that compassion and generosity can achieve.

“We are incredibly grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Mallet for entrusting the Foundation with this gift,” said Rob Franklin, DVM, DACVIM, who is the 2023 president of the Foundation for the Horse and AAEP. “Their unbridled philanthropy not only will better the lives of countless horses by funding the work of dedicated equine caretakers and veterinarians, but it will set an example for others who share the Mallets’ care and compassion for the well-being of horses.” 

About the Foundation for the Horse

Established in 1994, the Foundation for the Horse is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to improving the welfare of the horse through education, research and help for horses at risk. It is governed and stewarded by world-renowned equine veterinarians and equine stakeholders. In 2022, and for the second consecutive year, the Foundation awarded over $1 million in scholarships and grants to impact equine health and well-being throughout the U.S. and developing countries. To learn more, visit




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